While debating what to put on the cover of JCK‘s 2007 diamond issue, we got a call from Tom Heyman, of Oscar Heyman Bros., who had a multifunctional necklace with a 17.00 ct. emerald-cut diamond as its center. The piece breaks apart into at least seven combinations of wearable jewels, and Tom wantedto know if we’d consider putting it on our cover. (Memo to retailers: This is why you should touch base regularly with your local media—you never know when you’ll pitch them at just the right moment!)
We didn’t commit to using it immediately, but editor-in-chief Hedda Schupak eventually agreed. That presented a challenge to art director Todd Gast, who normally doesn’t start with a single piece of jewelry and build a concept around it. But this particular piece sparked an idea. Says Todd, “I have been a big fan of Showtime’s The Tudors … a very stylish and smart show about King Henry VIII. Even though King Henry VIII lived 500 years ago, he was quite a fashionista and trendsetter in his youth, and The Tudors shows a more modern take in costuming and jewelry, based on inspiration from the time.” Todd decided that a Tudor-style square neckline “would be the perfect framing for the necklace and pendant.”
Todd wanted to give the Tudor concepta fresh treatment, which included findinga model who could portray a contemporary version of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. The lighting neededa romantic feel—sunlight filtering through treetops to bathe portions of the model, allowing the rest to go to shadow. Since the Tudors were outdoorsy, Todd used green fabric—gathered to provide texture—for the backdrop. He chose a Tudor-inspired black square-neck dress, reviewed the look with the hair/makeup artist, and coached the model on her Anne Boleyn persona: a strong-willed woman who knows what she wants in life and how to get it, with a sassy style and mischief in her eyes. The result can be seen on this month’s cover.